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#19

in 2010 Affordable Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $10,878 - $13,239
Original MSRP: $22,115 - $32,710
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2010 Chrysler Sebring Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers say the Sebring's standard engine is vastly underpowered, while the two V6 engines offered still trail what most competitors do, and offer comparatively poor fuel economy. The car's suspension is comfortable, but its steering elicits many complaints. There are many more exciting cars available for a similar price. The Ford Fusion and Mazda6, for instance, offer more confident acceleration and crisp handling.

  • "Curvy two-lane roads exacerbate the Sebring's lousy steering and make it difficult to aim the car precisely. The ride is overly soft and floaty, and combinations of sudden bumps and curves toss the Sebring around to the point that the suspension just can't keep up." -- About.com
  • "Unfortunately, the Sebring's top-spec engine, a relatively torquey 235-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, is no Hemi. And while the 3.5-liter's standard six-speed manu-matic shifts smoothly and intuitively, the four-speed automatics mated to the 2.4-liter four and the 2.7-liter V-6 are somewhat clunky and rough." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The best powertrain is the Limited trim level's standard 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic; it's the only one that provides strong acceleration." -- Cars.com

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Chrysler Sebring is offered with three engine options. The base, an inline four-cylinder model making 173 horsepower is the most fuel-efficient, with an EPA rating of 21/30 mpg. That is a similar power rating to what you'll find in most four-cylinder family sedans, but reviewers say Chrysler's four-cylinder doesn't give the Sebring highway passing power. V6 options include a 2.7-liter model making 186 horsepower, rated for 19/27 mpg. That one doesn't impress writers much more than the four-cylinder. Both the four-cylinder and the smaller V6 are hampered by an antiquated four-speed automatic transmission. A top-of-the-line 3.5-liter V6 is offered on Limited models. It has more power with 235 horsepower, but one of the lowest fuel economy ratings in the midsize class at 16/27, even with a more advanced six-speed transmission with autostick shift capability.

  • "Four-cylinder Sebrings struggle in passing and merging situations, though they cope adequately with around-town driving. The 2.7 V6 is stronger overall, though its transmission shifts harshly. Power is ample with the 3.5-liter V6, but the 6-speed's rough, delayed downshifts frustrate passing efforts." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Although the base four-cylinder delivers the best fuel economy, we think most buyers will be put off by its sluggish response and coarse power delivery." -- Carz Unlimited
  • "The 2.7-liter V-6 handled all situations impressively, but was noisy when asked to do maximum duty. Interior cabin conversations had to be put on pause when I accelerated onto local freeways." -- Sacramento Bee
  • "Still, the 3.5-liter V6 is far and way the best power plant in the lineup for those who can swing it. The top V6 is still a tad light on off-the-line pull, but it's plenty satisfying once it revs up and considerably smoother than the smaller engines." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The Sebring handles well in a traffic jam, but not on a winding road. Test drivers like the suspension tuning of the Sebring, which gives the car a smooth, comfortable ride. Few like the electronically-assisted steering, however, which can feel inconsistent - a complaint we rarely see in midsize cars. The car's brakes stop it well, but some complain of poor pedal feel.

  • "Good isolation from bumps and rough surfaces, but highway-speed stability is compromised by excessive body float over dips and swells." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Turning the steering wheel revealed the same odd sensations we found on earlier Sebring and Avenger drives, specifically, sharp turn-in followed by vagueness. The light steering effort didn't help us get our bearings, either." -- Car and Driver
  • "Ride quality is among the Sebring's strong points, as it proves both comfortable and composed at freeway speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "Turn the wheel a bit and nothing happens, Turn it a bit more, and the car says 'Oh -- we're turning? Sorry, I was napping.' All your steering input suddenly comes home to roost at once, and off you go in your chosen direction, generally much more abruptly than you planned." -- About.com
  • "The all-disc brakes are easy to modulate and delivered strong performance on the Southern California canyon roads on which I drove the convertible. Brake pedal feel is a bit spongy, though." -- Cars.com

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